What’s the Deal With Instagram Limiting Political Content?

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | Jun 20, 2024

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In early 2024, Instagram was under fire for suddenly limiting every user’s content about politics by default.  It was a new feature the social media giant had rolled out, and everyone had something to say. Although the platform had good intentions for doing it, Instagram limiting political content has caused quite a stir. Some social media users cried that it was a form of censorship, while others deemed it useful for reducing misinformation.

But is this controversial change in Instagram users’ content preferences good or bad? Why did the social media platform decide on something as huge as this? Most importantly, are Instagram users still allowed to consume content about politics on the platform? Keep reading to learn more about this bold move from Meta.

A teenager at a podium with the American flag on his shoulders while two other young people stand behind him.

Hot Off the Press: Instagram Limiting Political Content Moving Forward

In a polarizing move, Meta has decided to limit posts about politics by default for its Instagram users. This Instagram political content filter won’t affect content from accounts you follow. Instead, it will limit political posts you see in the platform’s suggested content, like on the Explore page and Reels.

So, what kinds of posts will have lower visibility with this latest change? Political content includes posts related to the government, laws, election season, and other social topics. You should also expect to stumble upon less content from people involved in politics and social movements.

TIME magazine reports that the Meta CEO said in 2021 that people don’t like politics taking over their online experience. Meta also faced criticism that year for its role in spreading misinformation and hate during the 2020 presidential election. It’s possible that these are key reasons for the new Instagram political content limit.

The Pros and Cons of Political Content Control on Instagram

Are you not convinced about whether political content control on Instagram is a good or bad thing? Well, the move—although controversial—has its share of pros and cons. Here are just some of the biggest ones.

Con: It Suppresses Important News and Current Events Stories

Let’s start with the elephant in the room. Limiting content surrounding politics and social topics suppresses important news stories. This is devastating for people who turn to social media platforms to hear the latest news about the world. With this new move, Instagram can make it challenging for many users to get access to timely, relevant news ASAP.

A woman reading the front page of the New York Times newspaper.

Con: Users Get Less Visibility When Speaking About Pressing Social Issues

Everyone wants to make some sort of social impact online to contribute to making the world a better place. That’s why many content creators use their platform to speak up about social issues close to their hearts.

Content like this is a great way to express themselves and potentially gain more fans and admirers. However, with the new political content limit, these creators may get lower visibility and engagement for these posts.

It’s bad enough for Instagram influencers, brands, and other creators who won’t get to spread their message on the platform. But it’s even worse because the limit leaves no room for healthy discussions about important social topics that need awareness.

Someone holding a cardboard sign at a protest that says, “Fight today for a better tomorrow”

Pro: It Curbs the Spread of Misinformation, Protecting Democratic Processes

Of course, this decision is not without its benefits, too. The biggest advantage of limiting political posts on Instagram is that it helps reduce misinformation on the internet. With less content about politics going around, there are fewer opportunities for people to spread fake news and propaganda.

This helps protect the integrity of important democratic processes, like government elections. It gives people a chance to form their political stances without external factors and online echo chambers influencing them. As a result, communities and countries can uphold clean and fair elections.

A letterboard that says, “Voting Day” next to rolls of American flag stickers that say, “Voted”.

Pro: It Allows People To Focus on Their Hobbies and Interests

In a now-viral Threads post, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said that politics is indeed important. However, he said that any “incremental engagement” people in power might gain isn’t worth the integrity risks that follow afterward. Then, he shifts the attention to Instagram’s many vibrant niches and communities for people to enjoy, from fashion to sports.

This is one small perk of the new limit on political posts. Now, those who don’t want to see content about social topics will see more content about things they’re interested in. That way, they can focus on being active in communities they love, whether they’re for travel, beauty, fitness, or other interests.

A young woman wearing pink headphones watching a video on her phone with her feet up on a sofa.

Hate the Changes? Here’s How To Turn Off Instagram’s Political Content Filter

Do you feel suffocated by Instagram’s move to block political content from reaching you? Don’t worry. You can change the settings to see content from accounts involved in politics and social topics again.

Here’s how to turn off Instagram’s political content filter, step by step:

1. On your Instagram profile, click the three horizontal lines at the top of the page.

2. Scroll until you reach the “What you see” section. Then, click Suggested Content.

Path Social’s screenshot of Instagram’s settings with a red box highlighting the “Suggested content” button.

3. Tap Political content.

Path Social’s screenshot of Instagram’s Content preferences menu with a red box highlighting the “Political content” option.

4. Select Don’t limit political content from people you don’t know.

Path Social’s screenshot of Instagram’s “Don’t limit political content from people you don’t follow” option turned on.

And that’s it! Now, the Instagram algorithm may show you posts about politics in the content it suggests for you.

Changes on Political Posts Are a Double-Edged Sword

Instagram’s decision to limit content surrounding political issues has its benefits and drawbacks. While it helps reduce misinformation on the internet, it also hides important stories people need to hear. Whether it’s good or bad for the platform is entirely up to each individual. The important thing to know is that you can decide whether you want to keep this political content filter on.

It’s undeniably paramount to keep an eye out for news on pressing social issues online. However, every content creator must also have the headspace to work toward growing their brand on social media. That’s something you can do with Path Social.

Our team uses an AI-powered algorithm to target your niche audience and promote your content to them. This boosts your discoverability on Instagram, giving people plenty of opportunities to follow your page. We do the legwork to reach your target market and grow your fanbase. That means you focus on what matters—consuming enriching content about the world, even after news of Instagram limiting political content.

So, what are you waiting for? Enlist the help of Path Social today and gain more Instagram followers fast!